2018, animated film
18 minutes (loop)
Director: Veneta Androva
Translations: Asparuh Donchev
EAR CLEANING deals with the question of how we participate in the world of news. Androva examined the forums on different news sites and how they – despite the administrators’ assurances to pay attention to netiquette and ethics – become a space for aggressive, offensive and obscene comments without this being sanctioned. The starting point of Veneta Adrova’s video work is the report of a woman of Roma origin who is said to have killed a retiree because of five Lewa – as the media constantly emphasize. As a total counterpoint to the aggression and sublime paranoia imposed by the media, the video was developed using the ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian
Reaction) method. This mass phenomenon on YouTube began as early as 2016 and although it has not yet been scientifically investigated, consumers speak a clear language: thousands of such videos each receives a few million clicks. In short, ASMR wants to create a euphoric reaction with visual and auditory stimuli in the lower intensity range, just above the perception threshold. Such stimuli are usually quite inconspicuous and well known from everyday life and create an unexplainable comfortable Shudder – noises of whispers, clattering (or better: scratching?) with long nails until scraping on the skin. “Ear Cleaning” by Veneta Androva is a frightening experimental setup. It shows how an involuntarily pleasant feeling can be generated with ASMR impulses when looking at the worst of the news pages’ comments. Thus Veneta Androva’s work becomes a frightening hypothesis about a further possible connection between pleasure and hatred.
Text: Stefka Tsaneva
Film still, Ear Cleaning (2018).